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Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

April showers can bring more than May flowers

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or me, the month of April is all about anticipation. I am eagerly awaiting the early arrival of crocus and daffodils. And I can’t wait for the butter-yellow forsythia to burst into color. The garlic in my vegetable garden is already poking through the frosty soil and I’m seeing other signs of spring all around me After this incredibly harsh winter, there’s nothing like the promise of a light at the end of the tunnel to help us endure this last rainy patch until the sunshine warms us on a more permanent basis. As spring approaches, I can feel the anticipation in the air. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the change of season. Anticipation is not the same as just waiting for something to happen. It’s not just letting time pass. I’ve discovered that intentional anticipation can be incredibly powerful and moving. It can spur us into action, awaken a longlost passion and inspire great “May flower” joy. I’m a believer that anticipation itself can transform a possibility into a reality, and so I build it into my daily

routines. In doing so, I have made living alone more of an adventure than a carefully planned existence. I encourage you to join me and incorporate a little expectancy and suspense into your world. Below are a few strategies that have worked for me. Perhaps they’ll work for you, too! Fill your future with fun. It could be concert tickets, a vacation, dinner with friends or a new class. I have tickets to see singer Michael Feinstein at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in May. Whenever the doldrums set in, I put on his latest CD and imagine the good time I’m going to have with my sister Anne. She loves him, too! I enjoy being uplifted by the anticipation of Michael’s performance and a fun night out with my best friend. Plan ahead and look forward to holidays. Memorial Day is on the horizon. Consider hosting a small get-together

at your place. This “official start of summer” offers a great opportunity to bring people together for some good food and fun, in honor of veterans and soldiers both overseas and here at home. Why not embrace the holiday, make plans, and look forward to sharing this national day of remembrance with friends and family? Order something from a catalog or online store. I make good use of this simple strategy, perhaps more than I should (smile)! But, I like looking forward to a package waiting for me on my front porch. I enjoy anticipating the arrival of a good book in the mail, or a new blouse, or home accessory. It makes coming home after a long day a little more fun and interesting. Join Facebook, LinkedIn, or an online dating service. Make it possible for people to find you and for you to reach out to others. You might be surprised by

what you discover — a new friend, an old heart throb, a childhood buddy, or an unexpected opportunity to socialize. Who knows what might arrive in your inbox?! The anticipation of a “hello” or “wink” can turn a dreary day into one filled with surprises. • Schedule a “day off” a ways off just for you. I do this throughout the year. Monday is my preferred day off. I pick a Monday about four weeks out and look forward to filling it with activities I love. I choose Mondays because when the weekend is over, it’s not over for me! My special day is still out there ahead of me, yet to be experienced and enjoyed. Plant a seed for the future, literally. Just for the fun of it, I’ve purchased a container and “starter” seeds for kitchen herbs. It sits on the sunny ledge above my sink, and I just love tending it and waiting for the tiny tips to make their appearance. Consider growing a few plants from seed to harvest. It’s such a simple joy, and a reminder of the profound power of anticipating future positive events. I anticipate good things ahead for all of you who adopt some of these strategies. And I invite you to share your experience with me. email me at the address below and I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive, empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon, New York. For information about her upcoming workshops or to invite Gwenn to speak, call 585-6247887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com.

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